Chris Froome: ‘We were put on the back foot and just never recovered’
Froome says the team had no response to the early move of Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador on stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espa a
FROOME Christopher (GBR) Sky Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
Team Sky1 s Chris Froome says that he found himself on the back foot and had no response when the Vuelta a Espa a2 exploded on Sunday afternoon in the Pyrenees due to early attacks from rivals Nairo Quintana3 (Movistar) and Alberto Contador4 (Tinkoff). Contador and Quintana took turns attacking the Tour de France5 champion already six kilometres into the short 118.5-kilometre stage 15 into the Spanish Pyrenees. Froome found himself isolated and went backwards as the stage raced6 to the Aram n Formigal ski station.
It was a tough, tough stage for us, Froome told ITV Sport when he arrived back at Sky s bus.
The guys obviously did a lot of work yesterday so we weren t as prepared as some of the other teams this morning. Obviously, being caught up there with Contador and Quintana in the early break put us on the back foot and we just never recovered. So credit to them, they rode a really smart race and they gained a lot of time on us.
Froome marked each one of Quintana s attacks around five in total when the Vuelta raced up the Col d Aubisque8 climb yesterday. Today, he missed the first one and lost ground from there. Quintana rode clear in a group of 14 that included two Movistar helpers and Contador with two of his Tinkoff helpers. He did not win the stage, that honour went to Italian Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx Quick-Step), but finished second and gained 2-43 minutes on Froome.
Sometimes you have to take your hat off to people and just say, well done,’ Team Sky boss, David Brailsford added. That was a great move and it paid off for Nairo and Alberto.
Froome still sits in second, but Quintana now leads by 3-37 minutes going into the final week. More mountain stages and, importantly for Froome, a 37-kilometre time trial appear on the menu in Spain.
We just have to sit down and look at it and keep on going, added Brailsford. Sometimes in sport you take a punch in the face, turn around sit yourself down and say right, there six days of racing left, we re still in the same position as we were this morning and we ll just keep on going.
- ^ Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ Vuelta a Espa a (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ Nairo Quintana (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ Alberto Contador (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ went backwards as the stage raced (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ >>> Five talking points from stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espa a (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ when the Vuelta raced up the Col d Aubisque (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ >>> 90 riders finish over 22 minutes outside of time cut at Vuelta a Espa a (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)